John Muse Signs Deal With AHL's Texas Stars
After spending the last few years stopping pucks in North Carolina, Falmouth resident John Muse is moving further south to chase his dream of playing in the National Hockey League. The two-time collegiate national champion at Boston College signed a contract this week with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.
The Stars are the top minor league affiliate of the Dallas Stars. Muse said he is hoping to impress the higher-ups in the Stars organization during training camp next month and to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves along the way.
“I’m excited. It’s a good situation, and they always have a good team down there,” he said after putting in a day’s work at APT at the Falmouth Ice Arena on Wednesday morning, August 5.
Muse said he’s hoping to be on the ice more for Texas than he was last season for the Charlotte Checkers, who had a down season. Muse played well when given the opportunity but served as the backup most of the season, despite having better results than the team’s starting goalie.
Despite setting the franchise record for wins in net during the 2013-14 season, earning 27 that year, Muse played only 29 games in net for the Checkers last year, after seeing time in 47 the previous season. The goalie improved statistically in 2014-15 in the numbers that count, even though he was used less. He improved from a 2.73 goals against average to 2.68 and stopped .916 shots over .915 the year before. The only area that saw slippage was his win-loss record, which can be attributed to the fact that the team in front of him was way down. Over 108 professional hockey games, Muse has posted a .926 save percentage.
“I was hoping to play more [last year]. It was a pretty frustrating year. We weren’t very good as a team,” he said. “It was the first time I didn’t have a chance to compete for the playoffs.”
Now entering his sixth season as a professional, Muse said he is focused on improving his game, and winning. He’d like to get that phone call from Dallas to suit up in the NHL but he’s happy to play hockey for a paycheck and wants to do that for as long as possible. “I’m expecting to go there and play at a high level,” he said. “I want to play for as long as I can. Ultimately, the NHL is the goal, but it’s not like if I’m not in the NHL that I’m not happy.
“I’m a firm believer in making your own breaks. [Doubters] drive me to get better every day. I like proving people wrong,” he said.
The goaltender will spend the next month continuing to prepare his body for the rigors of the pro hockey season. Muse said he works out all week at APT and also heads to New Hampshire twice per week to skate with a goalie coach. When he’s not working on his game he is attempting to reel in large stripers, mostly from the surf and the Canal, and heading to the beach as much as possible.